Pre-slaughter factors associated with severe bruising in different primary commercial cuts of bovine carcasses

Javier Alexander Bethancourt Garcia, Ricardo Zambarda Vaz, Fabiano Nunes Vaz, João Restle, Fábio Souza Mendonça


The incidence of bruising in bovine carcases is a consequence of several potentially stressful and aggressive factors to which the animals are subjected during pre-slaughter handling. The aim of this study was to identify pre-slaughter factors associated with the severe bruising in different regions of the bovine carcass. The study evaluated 5,028 batches of slaughtered cattle from 154,100 animals. The carcases were analysed for gender, handling on the farm, condition of farm infrastructure, type of truck, distance and journey time from the farm to the slaughterhouse, loading density and time of year in which the animals were slaughtered. The results showed that the sidecut and forequarter are the areas most affected by bruising, with females being the most vulnerable. Loading densities above excess of 401 kg m-2 cause an increase in the number of bruises. The use of larger vehicles results in an increase in bruising, as does the use of poor farming facilities. A decrease in the number of bruises was seen for journey times of more than three hours. All the variables under evaluation are potential causes of injury to bovine carcases. As such, improving the handling conditions and facilities for loading cattle, as well as reducing the stress of transport, are factors which determine a smaller number of bruises in bovine carcases.


Welfare; Loading density; Management; Transport

Texto completo:




ANDRADE, E. N. D. et al. Ocorrência de lesõesemcarcaças de bovinos de corte no Pantanal emfunção do transporte. Ciência Rural, v. 38, n. 7, p. 1991-1996, 2008.

BERTOLONI, W. et al. Bem-estar e taxa de hematomas de bovinostransportadosemdiferentesdistâncias e modelos de carroceria no estado do Mato Grosso-Brasil. Revista Brasileira de Saúde e Produção Animal, v. 13, n. 3, p. 850-859, 2012.

FERNANDES, T. A. et al. Características comportamentais dos bovinos: aspectosbásicos, processo de aprendizagem e fatores que as afetam. Revista Electrónica de Veterinária, v. 18, n. 9, p. 1-16, 2017.

GALLO, S. C. et al. Efectos del tiempo de transporte de novillosprevio al faenamientosobre el comportamiento, las pérdidas de peso y algunascaracterísticas de la canal. Archivos de MedicinaVeterinaria, v. 32, n. 2, p. 157-170, 2000.

GONZÁLEZ, L. A. et al. Space allowance during commercial long distance transport of cattle in North America. Journal of Animal Science, v. 90, n. 10, p. 3618-3629, 2012.

GRANDIN, T. Animal welfare and society concerns finding the missing link. Meat Science, v. 98, n. 3, p. 461-469, 2014.

HASKELL, M. J.; SIMM, G.; TURNER, S. P. Genetic selection for temperament traits in dairy and beef cattle. Frontiers in Genetics, v. 5, p. 368, 2014.

HUERTAS, S. M. et al. Transportation of beef cattle to slaughterhouses and how this relates to animal welfare and carcasses bruising in an extensive production system. Animal Welfare, v. 19, n. 3, p. 281-285, 2010.

HULTGREN, J. et al. Cattle behaviours and stockperson actions related to impaired animal welfare at swedish slaughter plants. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, v. 152, n. 1, p.23-37, 2014.

INSTITUTO NACIONAL DE NORMALIZACIÓN (Chile).Canales de bovino:definicionesy tipificación. Norma ChilenaOficial NCH. 1306. Of. 93, 2002.

LAMBOOIJ, E. et al. Compartment height in cattle transport vehicles. Wageningen UR Livestock Research, v. 148, n. 1/2, p. 87-94, 2012.

LOSADA-ESPINOSA, N. et al. Pre-slaughter cattle welfare indicators for use in commercial abattoirs with voluntary monitoring systems: a systematic review. Meat Science, v. 138, n. 34-48, 2017.

MELO, A. F. et al. Fatores que influenciamnaqualidade da carne bovina: revisão. PUBVET Publicações em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia, v. 10, n. 10, p.785-794, 2016.

MENDONÇA, F. S. et al. Breed and carcass characteristics on losses by bruises and meat pH in beef of steers and culling cows. Ciência Animal Brasileira, v. 18, p. e-45295, 2017.

MENDONÇA, F. S. et al. Causes of bruising in carcasses of beef cattle during farm, transport, and slaughterhouse handling in Brazil. Animal Science Journal, v. 90, n. 1, p. 288-296, 2019.

MENDONÇA, F. S. et al. Genetic group and horns presence in bruises and economic losses in cattle carcasses. Semina: CiênciasAgrárias, v. 37, n. 6, p. 4265-4273, 2016.

MENDONÇA, F. S. et al. Pre-slaughtering factors related to bruises on cattle carcasses. Animal Production Science, v. 58, n. 2, p. 385-392, 2018.

MINKA, N. S.; AYO, J. O. Effects of loading behaviour and road transport stress on traumatic injuries in cattle transported by road during the hot-dry season. Livestock Science, v. 107, n.1, p. 91-95, 2007.

MIRANDA-DE LA LAMA, G. C. et al. Mexican consumers’ perceptions and attitudes towards farm animal welfare and willingness to pay for welfare friendly meat products. Meat Science, v. 125, p.106-113, 2017.

MITCHELL, M. A.; KETTLEWELL, P. J. Engineering and design of vehicles for long distance road transport of livestock (ruminants, pigs and poultry). Veterinária Italiana, v. 44, n. 1, p 201-213, 2008.

MPAKAMA, T.; CHULAYO, A.Y.; MUCHENJE, V. Bruising in slaughter cattle and its relationship with creatine kinase levels and beef quality as affected by animal related factors. Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Science, v. 27, n. 5, p. 717-725, 2014.

NJISANE, Y. Z.; MUCHENJE, V. Farm to abattoir conditions, animal factors and their subsequent effects on cattle behavioural responses and beef quality:a review. Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences, v. 30, n. 6, p. 755-764, 2017.

ROMERO, M. H. et al. Conventional versus modern abattoirs in Colombia: impacts on welfare indicators and risk factors for high muscle pH in commercial Zebu young bulls. Meat Science, v. 123, n. 1, p. 173-181, 2017.

ROMERO, M. H. et al. Risk factors influencing bruising and high muscle pH in Colombian cattle carcasses due to transport and pre-slaughter operations. Meat Science, v. 95, n. 2, p. 256-263, 2013.

SILVA, J. L. da; BERTOLONI, W.; RIBEIRO, J. S. de A. Indicadores de estresse e qualidade de carne de bovinos transportados em diferentes tipos de caminhões (tradicional, carreta de um piso e carreta de dois pisos) e diferentes distâncias na região de Cuiabá/Mt/Brasil. Archives of Veterinary Science, v. 21, n. 3, p. 68-76, 2016.

SÍMOVÁ, V. et al. Pre-transport factors affecting the welfare of cattle during road transport for slaughter–a review. Acta Veterinaria Brno, v. 85, n. 3, p. 303-318, 2016.

STRAPPINI, A. C. et al. Bruises in culled cows: when, where and how are they inflicted? Animal, v. 7, n. 3, p. 485-491, 2013.

STRAPPINI, A. C. et al. Prevalence and risk factors for bruises in Chilean bovine carcasses. Meat Science, v. 86, n. 3, p. 859-864, 2010.

TARRANT, V.; KENNY, F. J.; HARRINGTON, D. The effect of stocking densitduring 4 hours transport to slaughter on bevahiour, blood constituints and carcass bruising in Friesian steers. Meat Science, v. 24, n.3, p. 209-222, 1988.

YOUNGERS, M. E. et al. Case study: prevalence of horns and bruising in feedlot cattle at slaughter. The Professional Animal Scientist, v. 33, n. 1, p. 135-139, 2017.

Revista Ciência Agronômica ISSN 1806-6690 (online) 0045-6888 (impresso), Site:, e-mail: - Fone: (85) 3366.9702 - Expediente: 2ª a 6ª feira - de 7 às 17h.